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1. Me : Stories of My Life
2. Katharine Hepburn: A Life in Pictures
3. Katharine Hepburn Once Said...:
4. Katharine Hepburn: The Last Interview
5. Affair to Remember, An: The Remarkable
6. Katharine Hepburn: The Untold
8. Katharine Hepburn
9. Katharine Hepburn: A Stylish Life
10. The Making of the African Queen:
11. Katharine Hepburn (Limelight)
12. Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn
13. At Home with Kate: Growing up
14. Private World of Katharine Hepburn
15. Tracy and Hepburn
16. How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living
17. Property from the Estate of Katharine
18. Katharine Hepburn: An Independent
19. Katharine Hepburn: Star as Feminist
20. I Know Where I'm Going: Katharine

1. Me : Stories of My Life
by Katharine Hepburn
Paperback: 432 Pages (1996-09-29)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$4.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345410092
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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With the publication of The Making of the African Queen in 1987, Katharine Hepburn proved that she can number writing among her many talents, and that her humor and intelligence, and the inimitable cadences of her voice translate vividly to the printed page. Now, with characteristic gusto and candor, she delivers her eagerly awaited memoir. 75 photographs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars Just listen - it is unabashed Katharine
I had a road trip to make and picked this to accompany me.It was almost too good for listening while driving. DELIGHTFUL - Katherine Hepburn reading the stories of her life. And she tells so much you might have wondered about - Luddy, Howard Hughes (did they?), Cary Grant, growing old, being young, being a star, being spoiled.My favourite quote - and I might get it a bit wrong. "Luddy was the sweetest man I ever met and he was so in love with me. Unfortunately, so was I."

I've bought this book several times since, sharing it with my friends.It never disappoints. It's like she's whispering in your ear.

5-0 out of 5 stars A woman to be admired and cherished...from author of EXPLOSION IN PARIS...
I loved the chat with the wonderful,down-to-earth Katharine Hepburn. I loved the chance to get to know the REAL WOMAN. She was a real human being, one you'd be honored to call "friend". I really enjoyed this most memorable memoir. I actually read it a while ago and have bought other biographies of her since. This was special, in her words, her private memories, NOT written by someone else to add the possibility of mistakes, enhancing, and probably untruths. Katharine Hepburn was one of the greats, one who truly MADE A DIFFERENCE. What a life! I've watched all of her movies more than a few times. One I've watched even more than the rest was GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER with Sidney Poitier, (another autobiography, THE MEASURE OF A MAN, that SHOULD NOT BE MISSED!), and Spencer Tracy. Spence was very ill makingmovie and died shortly after it was finished, hence the real tears in Kate's eyes in the movie. The intelligent, meaningful, thought-provoking dialogue in that movie can't be measured up to! The atmosphere leaves you with such a sense of well-being and dignity. Kate's essence led the way for women to WANT to be independent, classy, dignified and down-to-earth at the same time. She was a ONE-OF-A-KIND, for sure, a woman to be admired and cherished!

5-0 out of 5 stars a wonderful and enthrawling read
I felt like this book reflected Katharine Hepburn perfectly, it was honest, interesting and extremely funny(sometimes accidently). This would have to be the best biography I have ever read. What an exciting life she lead!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great autobiography
I must admit, I never knew much about Katharine Hepburn before reading her autobiography (just remember seeing her in "On Golden Pond"), but when People magazine named her autobiography as one of the ten best ever, I decided to read it.I'm glad I did!What a life Katharine had, and as you read it, you feel she is talking to you personally, at the kitchen table, with a cup of coffee and a slice of cake.A very enjoyable read indeed!

5-0 out of 5 stars THE ACTOR, THE WRITER

A FABULOUS READ!! ... Read more

2. Katharine Hepburn: A Life in Pictures
by Pierre-Henri Verlhac
Hardcover: 192 Pages (2009-10-21)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$3.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811869474
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Katharine Hepburn: star of the silver screen, fashion icon, and quintessential class act. This volume offers an intimate view into the life of a Hollywood giant from her early years in the studio system, through the famed Spencer Tracy period, to her later life as a grande dame of cinema and sheds new light on the woman named by the American Film Institute as the greatest female movie star in the history of American cinema. With a compelling mixture of celebrity photographs and casual snapshots, this latest entry in the beloved A Life in Pictures series forms a uniquely stylish portrait. A dazzling collection, Katharine Hepburn captures the life of a legend, onscreen and off. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice!
I like it, I know there are some mistakes (dates) but the pictures are beautiful, classy and the price..is...exelent!

4-0 out of 5 stars Katharine Hepburn
Perhaps one of the most interesting figures in American pop culture, and often purported as Hollywood's brightest actress of all time, Katharine Hepburn was and is larger than life, and //Katharine Hepburn: A Life in Pictures// edited by Pierre-Henri Verlhac shows off this trait of hers by being a big and beautiful photobiography. It cannot be stressed enough that this book is large and filled with large, often full-page photographs of the intelligent and influential woman. Hepburn is shown in all sorts of lights, from professional portraits to personal snapshots, and her class seems to shine through in all of them.

Accompanying the photographs are, of course, captions that briefly explain each. More importantly, though, are the series of quotes by Hepburn and her friends and colleagues that are interspersed in big, black, bold lettering. They range in subject from outlooks on life to opinions and praise of Hepburn. The quotes attributed to Hepburn herself all show an intelligence and wit that were highly developed.

A fittingly immense work for an immense person, //Katharine Hepburn: A Life in Pictures// shows us what we're missing in the role models and Hollywood stars of today.

Reviewed by Jordan Dacayanan

3-0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware: lovely photos, skip the text
The cover photo of Hepburn is gorgeous.Some of the other photos in the book are also terrific including some that haven't been overexposed in other books.However, the foreword by Charles Higham is full of errors that would be laughable if they weren't such an insult to Hepburn, one of the world's most famous women.For example, her birthdate is erroneously listed as 1909 (it was 1907) and he states that she "succumbed to a coma in the 1990's" (Hepburn died in June 2003 at the age of 96.)The information provided between her birth and death is also error-filled.
The photos also suffer from gross mislabelling from beginning to end.Ex: page 14 a photo is labelled - Undated photograph Katharine Hepburn mid-dive. Anyone with a remote knowledge of Hepburn recognizes this as a still from the film "The Philadelphia Story."The photo on page 35 bears the label: 1935 George Cukor and Katharine Hepburn on the set of the film "Sylvia Scarlett," the photo is actually from the set of the film "Mary of Scotland" with Katharine Hepburn and Frederic March being filmed as director John Ford and the rest of his crew watch the action. Page 73 -- the 1942 MGM Commemorative photo -- Lionel Barrymore is mis-identified as Red Skeleton!The photos on pages 90 and 91 are labelled: Undated photographs of Hepburn.Reality: both are stills of Hepburn in costumes from the 1957 film "Desk Set." The errors continue and one of the worst is the labelling of the photo on page 122 which states: 1959 Hepburn converses with a member of the crew on the set of "Suddenly, Last Summer."The referenced photo is actually one of Katharine Hepburn walking with her niece Katharine Houghton outside the sound stage where they were filming the 1967 film "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."The sloppy manner in which this book was edited is insulting to the purchaser and the disclaimer on page 190 is not sufficient to cover for it.The disclaimer reads: Every effort was made to ascertain the copyright holder of the photographs reproduced in this book.Any errors were unintended by Editions Verlhac/Chronicle Books and will be corrected in the next printing.This kind of sloppy publishing is inexcusable for a book that retails for $45.00. ... Read more

3. Katharine Hepburn Once Said...: Great Lines to Live By
by Susan Crimp
Hardcover: 176 Pages (2003-10-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$4.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060581727
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A career spanning more than sixty years. A life spanning almost a century. Katharine Hepburn reached the height of success as an actress and also suffered through periods that would have ended other actresses' careers. But she persevered with a mix of humor and sarcasm, tenderness and brutal honesty. The world has not been the same since.Collected here are the words that made Katharine Hepburn "Kate" to millions of fans. It does not matter whether the words were originally hers or if they were written for her. Every word spoken in that all-too-familiar staunch New England accent instantly became Kate's.

Her early years of ambition, her later years of reflection have all been captured in this collection. Her views on marriage, career, and life often came across as shocking. But the shock was not in the words she said, but when she said them. Decades ahead of her time, Kate paved the way for the independent woman free to live as she wishes. Above all else, Kate was and always will be the unwavering voice of reason.

Katharine Hepburn once said that there is a difference between being an actor and being a star; she wanted to be a star. The words collected here, said both onstage and offstage, are proof that there is also a difference between being a star and being a legend. Katharine Hepburn is a legend.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, Interesting Quotes, A Few Pics--But That's It!
This book of Katharine Hepburn quotes, both from her movies and her own sharp wit, is lovingly done and beautifully presented with several black-and-white photographs of the actress, most of which are publicity stills.The main problem with the book: there are no attributions to the quotes, and no info on Hepburn herself.There is a bibiliography, so if you're really meticulous (or a little odd), you can research everything and get the dates of the quotes; otherwise, you're left high and dry as to information about the material.

There is also very little info on the actress herself, just a very short (2-3 pages in an undersized hardcover) snippet of a biography.There is also no speculation on the quotes themselves.While that gives the readers free range for interpretation, again, knowing the dates would have been nice.

The reason I gave it four stars instead of three: one of the pictures in the beginning of the book.It may appear elsewhere, but I don't know.It has Hepburn sitting in a plane with a flight helmet on.If you don't have this picture, buy the book just for it alone--talk about those cheek bones!!!Hepubrn looks even more sculpted than usual!

Bottom Line: Worth the "Used and New" discounted price for the novelty of it, and that one picture.Otherwise, it's a complete coffee table book. ... Read more

4. Katharine Hepburn: The Last Interview
by simon worrall
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-05-29)
list price: US$3.99
Asin: B002CGSGP6
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In this candid interview, the last granted by the great movie actress before her death, Katharine Hepburn talks about her love of New England, her childhood and her relationship with Spencer Tracy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Lioness in Winter
"If you survive long enough, you are revered -- rather like an old building."
Katharine Hepburn

So goes the quote 'the kate', the cultural centre named after Hepburn in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and opened shortly after her death in 2003, chooses to use on its own website.Like Simon Worrall's essay, it's a labour of love, affectionate and heartfelt, a testament to the regard the woman who was once referred to as Katharine of Arrogance has come to be held in.As his beautifully written piece makes clear though, it's not just longevity that stakes Hepburn's claim - in part, it's because she reminds us of an era that seems in some ways more authentic, and less shabby, than our own, and in larger part because Hepburn always, but always, remained herself.Never a celebrity, but for decades a star, the fire and snap of Hepburn's irascible, intelligent, nature are vividly and deftly painted in this more-than-an-interview portrait.If you don't know much about her, it's a great introduction, if you know a lot, then there's much to enjoy.Recommended.
Katharine Hepburn: The Last Interview

5-0 out of 5 stars A gem of a conversation
Simon Worrall has achieved a coup with this unique last interview with Katherine Hepburn, one of the great actresses of the glory days of Hollywood. In a time when we are accustomed to non-stop celebrity revelations, this is a supreme example of a crafted interview with a true star, where we wait on her every word as she is persuaded to talk with great dignity about her life. A treasure for the archives.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Last Look At A Grand Dame
It's pure Kate.Read and enjoy.Amazing how quickly she springs back to life in your mind as you picture the interview and absorb her wit and assessment of her limitations at that time.The mark of a truly unique and fascinating personality for the ages.I finished it with warm fondness and a little aching hole emerged from my soul that only she could fill and it made me happy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Toast to the Grand Dame
What a voice. You can hear her in all her glory and get a real sense of the writer who pursued the last interview and how much she liked talking to him, even inviting him for lunch. "Nora, can you bring us some soup!" For fans of Hepburn, this is a classic from an article that hasn't appeared in 15 years and one of those rare opportunities that Kindle now provides us, to read material that otherwise would be lost in some author's archives. One gets a sense that Hepburn like the red headed Englishman and gave him much more insight into her life than she would have given someone she didn't trust. A real find!

Simon Worrall went on to write for major magazines, like National Geographic, The Smithsonian, and regular features in The London Times. I found this because I'm a fan of his book, The Poet and The Murderer, which I use in my nonfiction classes as an excellent example of investigative journalism. ... Read more

5. Affair to Remember, An: The Remarkable Love Story Of Katharine Hepburn And Spencer Tracy
by Christopher Andersen
Mass Market Paperback: 528 Pages (1998-06-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$27.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380731584
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get--only with what you are expecting to give--which is everything-- Katherine Hepburn

An Intimate Portrait of Films Legendary Lovers--On Screen and Off

During their twenty-six years together, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy mesmerized movie audiences worldwide with their famous on-screen chemistry like no other couple. Yet their private love affair--which ended only with Tracys death in 1967--remained shrouded in secrecy.

Now, international best-selling author Christopher Andersen draws on his own extensive conversations with the immortal Hepburn as well as others who knew the legendary duo intimately to tell the poignant yet often heartbreaking love story of these beloved American icons and the life they shared . Revealing the strength, wit and dignity that characterized this historic partnership, Andersen offers a captivating portrait of a great American romance. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
I am really happy to have this book!It's great that I was able to find it on Amazon.Although it did take a few weeks before it arrived, I was just glad to get it! I am looking forward to reading it!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Read !!
If you like/love Tracy and Hepburn in movies, you'll love this book.It's a true account of their lives and how their affair came about, how it was hidden to the world (insiders in Hollywood knew all about it).In fact, it was so well hidden (Kate used to always slip in the back way at hotels), that Tracy's wife upon meeting Hepburn told her she was shocked, that she thought the affair was only a rumor.A very good read, you won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Love Story
I have always thought that Tracy and Hepburn were a Great couple in Movies, but they were amazing in real life too.The book was a very good history of each of their lives and how they became intertwined.I think it is one of the best books that I have ever read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good read
I have been looking for years for a Spencer Tracy biography and this is about as close as I could find.I have to say I was very pleasantly surpried by this book.First off, it is a quick and easy read and is especially well written for one of these Hollywood tomes.Secondly, rather than just telling the story of the Tracy/Hepburn love affair, it gives you so much background on both stars that I feel as though I have gotten my long sought after Tracy bio.Finally, the book helps the reader to understand that there really is no understanding a love like Tracy and Hepburn shared.Neither could put it into words and neither seemed interested in doing such.Rather than a lot of psycho babble that you usually get in these types of books, the author realizes that there is no accounting for taste and there is no explaining love.

4-0 out of 5 stars Spence and Kate: the secret romance
These two screen giants met on the set of Woman of the Year in 1942 and were together until Spencer died of a heart attack, shortly after wrapping up Guess Whose Coming to Dinner in 1967. This book chronicles their remarkable, romantic pairing in an era where a movie star's private life could remain hidden from a prying public. Spencer was married to a devoted Catholic, Louise, and he refused to divorce her. He also felt a tremendous sense of guilty about his deaf son. So marriage was out of the question, but Kate didn't care, she just wanted she be with Spencer, and she was, following him all over the world to sit worshipfully at his feet.

Andersen dutifully chronicles the nine classic Tracy-Hepburn films and gives some intriguing behind-the-scenes glimpses into each movie. There is also much information about Tracy's legendary bouts with the bottle, his brief fling with Gene Tierney in the early 50's and Kate's affair with Howard Hughes in the 1930's. All the bases are covered, but I wish Andersen would have interviewed more people close to the duo. Still, an engrossing read and essential for anyone enamored with either Spencer or Kate. ... Read more

6. Katharine Hepburn: The Untold Story (Advocate Life Stories)
by James Robert Parish
Hardcover: 368 Pages (2005-11-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 155583891X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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In her remarkable 62-year career, Katharine Hepburn starred in over 40 films, appeared in over 10 Broadway plays, and was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, winning four. Her relationship with actor Spencer Tracy is one of Hollywood's most famous romances; it lasted 25 years until Tracy's death in 1967-never mind that Tracy was married to another woman. In her life Hepburn was an icon of feminism and New England-style forthrightness; as an artist she was a national treasure. Hepburn's death on June 29, 2003, at the age of 96 did little to silence the almost -century-long conversation about her. But one topic remained taboo, despite Hepburn's reputation as being fearlessly honest. Was Katharine Hepburn a lesbian? This biography directly addresses and documents the numerous accounts of Hepburn's lesbian affairs, including her relationships with Laura Harding, Jane Loring, Elissa Landi, Irene Mayer Selznick, Phyllis Wilbourn, and others. In addition, it provides an eye-opening re-examination of the star's most noted "love affairs." Parrish details how Hepburn spun her relationship with billionaire Howard Hughes to appear to be a romance, when in fact it wasn't, and most explosively reveals what caused Hepburn to accept a masochistic, platonic relationship with alcoholic, bisexual actor Spencer Tracy, and to allow it to be characterized as one of the "great loves of the twentieth century." Extensive research and interviews with numerous friends, journalists, and acquaintances separate myth from fact to reveal the real, sometimes conflicted, frustratingly complicated, and always amazing woman behind the painstakingly self-crafted image.

James Robert Parish is the author of 20 books on Hollywood, including biographies of Whoopi Goldberg, Gus Van Sant, Rosie O'Donnell, and Whitney Houston. He lives in Los Angeles.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars Kate the Great was gay
In my lifetime the two female Hollywood stars to elicit the most attention were Marilyn Monroe and Katharine Hepburn.In many ways the two were polar opposites.Vulnerable, soft and feminine Marilyn seemed to need a man's protection.Angular and feisty Kate on the other hand, didn't need anybody's help.She could get along by herself just fine.Hepburn would have been 100 years old this year and books are still being written about her.Since her death there has been a lot of talk about her sexuality.I did not realize that there was more than one "Kate-was-gay" book.I thought I was buying KATE--THE WOMAN WHO WAS HEPBURN when I bought this one.I'll probably get around to reading that one eventually, but in the meantime I was quite pleased with KATHARINE HEPBURN: THE UNTOLD STORY.I was expecting something sensational and salacious, but Mr. Parish's book is actually quite respectful of its subject and made Hepburn far more human to me that I had imagined her.In all the other books about her I have read she has been depicted as sailing from one triumph to another, with no real problems other than studios who regarded her as "box office poison" after some unsuccessful films.Parish examines what it was that actually made her "box office poison" in the minds of the public.Of course, the elephant on the coffee table was that Kate was mannish and no doubt many people assumed she was a lesbian at a time when it was not so cool to be one.I think Parish offers compelling evidence that Hepburn was at least bisexual and names names when it comes to her girlfriends.I didn't find it at all farfetched.

But what I really liked about the book was the depiction of the competitiveness that Hepburn demonstrated both in her personal and professional life.For example, in her early Hollywood years she was quickly crowned the queen of RKO.But after a lot of flops she was dethroned by none other than Ginger Rogers.Ms. Rogers was also feisty, but she, unlike Hepburn, came across as feminine.The success of Rogers, with her working-girl image, galled patrician Kate and perhaps sheds some light on Hepburn's famous analysis of the Astaire-Rogers partnership: "she gave him sex; he gave her class."And although Kate did probably prefer the company of woman, there were men in her life and several times she lost them to other women, most notoriously in the case of her losing Leland Hayward to Margaret Sullavan, who referred to Hepburn as "that dykey bitch."Despite all the bravado, she was plagued with certain doubts and insecurities after all.She had a discreet facelift before the filming of ON GOLDEN POND.

This is, on the whole, a well-written book, despite some sloppy editing.There are a lot of typos and one glaring misuse of the subjunctive.But Hepburn aficionados will find it quite provocative.Four stars.

1-0 out of 5 stars Unprofessional
Groundless, biased assertions couched in meanspirted prose. The author appears to really dislike Hepburn, and that is neither professional nor engaging for the reader. A good biographer should 1) be able to substantiate sweeping claims, especially about a subject's sexual life, and 2) maintain a neutral tone when writing about the subject, no matter how distasteful the biographer finds the actions of said subject. This author has done neither. Don't waste your time with this book even at the library.

1-0 out of 5 stars Even one star is too generous.
Parish's efforts are nothing more than a re-hashing of everything you already know.It certainly isn't the "untold story" the book jacket promises.Clumsily written and boring, Parish should have enlisted the aid of a better editor.One case in point: a good editor would have checked facts and known there is no such place as Tavasoon (where he notes they filmed part of "The Lion in Winter"), the town is actually called Tarascon.This book is pure drivel.Don't bother wasting your money.

1-0 out of 5 stars Ruined By Rumor Mongering
I was thrilled to find a new biography of Hepburn because she's such an intriguing personna. In this book, however, Parrish puts forth many rumors and hearsay as fact without bothering to back them up. This ruined what could have been an interesting bio for anyone curious about the Katharine Hepburn outside of the stage lots. Save your money and look elsewhere.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the jacket!
The books jacket says that it is well researched.In fact it is, but all the stuff about Kate and being bisexual is a matter of opinion.He never gives concrete information and uses what he does find he twist around to work in his favor.Although it is a good book for Kate facts, don't believe anything about her being bisexual. ... Read more

by Gary Carey
 Mass Market Paperback: 284 Pages (1984-11-01)
list price: US$3.95 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440144124
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8. Katharine Hepburn
by Anne Edwards
Paperback: 496 Pages (2000)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312206569
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Katharine Hepburn: grande dame of American actresses, fierce individualist, and living legend. Nominated for 12 Academy Awards and winner of four, Hepburn achieved stardom against formidable odds. The woman behind the legend emerges in this sympathetic yet clear-eyed portrait of her exceptional life and loves--now updated with an epilogue that brings Hepburn's story up to date. Filled with accounts of her relationships with Spencer Tracy, Howard Hughes, and many others, here is the fascinating story of a determined and invincible woman.From her ferociously guarded private life to Broadway's lights and Hollywood's Golden Age, Katharine Hepburn reveals a star whose courage and magnetism knew no bounds.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Grudging Biography
Upon reading this book, one gets the unmistakable impression that Edwards has gone a lot further than just trying to demystify Hepburn with "objective" opinions. While it never explicitly ridicules Hepburn, I think the tone is subtly anti-Hepburn. Indeed, praise for the great actress comes almost reluctantly, and often after the author has already expressed her own negative opinion, which permanently detracts from the Hepburn persona. (For eg,(1) The author's reasoning for Hepburn's defiance of contemporary fashion, (2) The strange correlation of the presence of (girlish?) stuffed toys in Hepburn's house with the idea that Hepburn might not have thought of herself as a strong woman.

It is quite clear that Hepburn has not been interviewed for this book. The title "A Remarkable Woman" itself seems contrived and shallow, when we read the last paragraph of the book, where the title is (unsatisfactorily) explained. I fear that a reader with no prior information about Hepburn, will come away with an incorrect picture of Hepburn as just another Hollywood actress, (with some redeeming quirks) who had her share of ups and downs. In my opinion, Andrew Britton's work (Katharine Hepburn, Star as Feminist), though not biographical, is the best critical appreciation of Hepburn's film roles and, by extension, of Hepburn, who was often described as transferring her own qualities to her roles, rather than completely adapting herself to them.

3-0 out of 5 stars Insight into the life of a star
I found this book to be quite an in-depth view into the life of Katherine Hepburn, an elusive star. It offers a back-stage view of the life of an icon and the struggles and triumphs that are associated with thatresponsibility. I would definitly recommend this book to those interestedin the genre. ... Read more

9. Katharine Hepburn: A Stylish Life
by Joal Ryan
Hardcover: 207 Pages (1999-10-05)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$3.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312246498
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Katharine Hepburn: A Stylish Life, brimful of photographs, anecdotes, and on-screen memories, follows Hepburn's amazing seven-decade film and stage career. From early dramas such as Little Women and Stage Door to Philadelphia Story and comedy classics such as Bringing Up Baby and Holiday to later triumphs in A Lion in Winter and On Golden Pond, Hepburn exerted firm control over her career and image.

In these pages, Hepburn also emerges as a woman who ended up defining her time by being ahead of it.Married young and divorced after five years, she was courted by some of the leading men of her day, including famed agent Leland Hayward and millionaire Howard Hughes. But it was on the set of Woman of the Year that she met her true love, the firmly married Spencer Tracy. Fiercely opposed in background, taste, and acting techniques, yet both strong-willed and eccentric by Hollywood standards, she and Tracy formed a remarkable team both on and off screen.

Hepburn's life, her loves, her family, her elegance, her vitality--they are all here, in beautiful black-and-white photographs and journalist Joal Ryan's biographical portrait. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

This is the best Katharine Hepburn book that I have ever read. It is the only Katharine Hepburn book that I have ever read. But it was still the best one. ... Read more

10. The Making of the African Queen: Or, How I Went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind
by Katharine Hepburn
 Hardcover: Pages (1989-01-13)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$38.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 051765394X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Piece of History, but only a piece
After reading this book I really like Lauren Bacall.The author, Ms. Hepburn, while setting out to write aboutmovie making, reveals an insight into herself.Her primary interests are Creative Control, and Creature Comfort.Ms. Bacall,who probably didn't even get a line in the rolling credits in the movie, chipped in whenever a team player was needed - something Ms Hepburn was not.
If you are a fan of the movie, this is a must read.There are pieces of fascinating detail, but so much of the ebb and flow of the story missing that you are left wanting more.Inever read any hint of anyone, especially the author, in danger of loosing their minds.Descriptions of the locality,weather and working conditions are exquisite.

5-0 out of 5 stars Katharine Hepburn
The book is just plain fun and very Katie Hepburn.Lots of insight into the making of the Africian Queen.Excellent purchase!

4-0 out of 5 stars African Queen
Delivery was faster than I expected.General condition was good, jacket cover was a bit worn at edges.Book in good shape.

3-0 out of 5 stars a short and pleasant read
Hepburn didn't set out to win any literary prizes with this book. The Making of the African Queen is an informal work, without any tight structure or organization; at times it can get pretty thin. She meanders along from one reminiscence to another and dwells on whatever memories catch her fancy or amuse her. It's as if she were sitting opposite you talking, rambling along with little smiles and devilish laughs.

She jumps along from topic to topic chronologically, starting from the offer she received for the part of Rose and ending with her recollection of Bogart's Oscar win. Some of the content she touches on is expected - observations of Bogart and Bacall, the mercurial Huston, and the rigors of filming in Africa. But then there are other anecdotes you don't expect, such as her bathroom-related anxieties (she was a urologist's daughter), her musings on different kinds of water (I loved those descriptions and that she would notice things like that), and her various peculiarities of taste, like her delight in finding out that her cabin would overlook all the others in the base camp in Africa.

What I liked best about the book is that I got a sense of Hepburn from how she wrote and what she chose to write about. She likes to take on a dry, amused tone; she does not spread gossip about her colleagues or supply salacious details, though she does make general observations of their characters. At one point, she writes a wickedly clever description of Bogie and Bacall having a spat, something along the lines of "two cats locked deliciously in the same cage". She is largely generous in her praise of the people she worked with, and is fond of them all, though she doesn't conceal those moments when she felt exasperated with them (Huston gets up her nose more than a few times). There are times when she's aloof and remote, preferring solitude, and overall she gives the impression of someone who won't suffer company merely for the sake of having company, but likes to go out on her own exploring or simply thinking; at other times, however, she enjoys lengthy conversations, particularly with Huston. She's aware of her foibles and laughs at them; they don't seem to trouble her all that much.

Fans of Hepburn, Bogart, Bacall, and/or Huston would perhaps enjoy this little book; so might people who liked The African Queen or are interested generally in classic movies and stars. The book sports lovely photos of the cast, director, and shooting locales, and Hepburn is our link with that older era of movie-making and its wonderful characters.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rather nice, a bit above standard "making of" style books
I have always rather liked Katharine Hepburn, and this movie. This is a rather nice "making-of" book. It is mildly humourous, good-natured, and nicely illustrated. While I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it or keep, I did really enjoy flicking through it.

This is really Hepburn's diary/account of the making of the African Queen and all the attendent problems of filming a movie in an equatorial country, and specifically in this case, in the continent of Africa. The rain, the mud, the mosquitos, the director, the other actors.

Hepburn does come across as being slightly removed from it all, she has a slightly distant and almost superior tone to her writing - for instance she is always up first in the morning and likes eating alone, and then from her hut she watches everyone else going about their morning. It is like she is Jane Goodall analysing Chimpanzees at times.

However she does lavish praise where praise is due, and she is not above laughing at herself at times either and so I felt fine about forgiving her the occassional remoteness.

This was fun to flick through. ... Read more

11. Katharine Hepburn (Limelight)
by Barbara Leaming
Paperback: 550 Pages (2004-08-01)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$2.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0879102934
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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"Not often is a book about a film star more gripping than anything the star has played on the screen, but Barbara Leaming's biography has that distinction...Katharine Hepburn is Ms. Leaming's penetrating look beyond Ms. Hepburn's acting career and into the forces that shaped such an emblematic figure...Prodigious research has yielded a family history that is both revealing on its own terms and a necessary backdrop to any consideration of Ms. Hepburn's career." -Janet Maslin, The New York Times Book Review ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

1-0 out of 5 stars The Worst
Do yourself a favor and NEVER read this book. Easily half of this book is about her mother's school days at Bryn Mawr or irrelevant stories about her family that have NOTHING to do with her acting. In fact, the book only reaches 1935 by page 375. The romance between John Ford and Hepburn would seem to anyone as a friendship, however Leaming exaggerates it until it's read-worthy. Overall, this books is a shameful testament to the fabulous life of Katharine Hepburn as well as biographies.

5-0 out of 5 stars Aren't all these reviews absolutely fascinating
In light of the fact that Ms. Hepburn has now been revealed as a lesbian whose affair with the gay Spencer Tracy was a big beard for the public, I find all these reviews objecting to any love relationship with John Ford because Spencer was her great love fascinating.

Barbara Leaming is a brilliant biographer.She somehow missed what William Mann et al. picked up on once Ms. Hepburn died - that is, that she, like everyone else in Hollywood's golden age was gay.If Hepburn was a lesbian, then Tracy was definitely gay.Gee, I wonder how Barbara missed that.Tsk tsk all that research, all that work and somehow that just never came up.She must not have talked to the right anonymous and inside sources.She probably depended on things like interviews with people who knew Hepburn, her private papers, studio documents, etc.She didn't know that in order to get info on Spencer Tracy, for instance, you have to go to secret gay flop houses.

As for John Ford - in a recent documentary about John Ford, we hear a tape recording between Ford and Katharine Hepburn made while he was very ill in which he tells her he loves her. Dan Ford was taping an encounter with them, went to get something in his car, and left the recorder running.The documentary states that Ford worshipped her (of course, you have to realize that Ford has now been outed as well).Since I head the tape recording, why should I believe any of you that there was no relationship?Was it love on Hepburn's part?I don't know.There was something, though.

Why people find all this endlessly fascinating, I have no idea, especially when one book contradicts the other.I'm supposed to believe that she and Spencer were gay, that Spencer was the only love of her life, that she was a big fat phony.Frankly, it's hard to believe anything.

I do, however, believe that Barbara Leaming is a wonderful writer and biographer. Her bios of Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles were excellent. I have no respect for James Robert Parrish, who is third rate, or people like William Mann who push forward their own agenda - as long, of course, that the person is dead.Wouldn't want a lawsuit now, would we.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Enjoyable to Read
It may be truth or fiction, as other reviewers complained, but the book is written well and makes for a good read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Total Fabrication
I wish I could give it a big fat zero but anyway...
The author is delusional and puts forth her own agenda totally ignoring facts. She has this unrequited love between John Ford and Katharine which only she has ever wrote about. Unfortunately since them other writers take it as truth.
Kate herself said in her "All About Me" documentary that despite what many thought she was never romantically involved with him. Yet according to this author this was the love of Kate's life when everyone knows it was without a doubt Spencer Tracy who this author totally deems a horrible human being.
A total BS book lets hope someone out there can write as close to the truth book on this great lady not this trashy drivel????

1-0 out of 5 stars A Gothic novel
To quote Dan Ford, the grandson and biographer of John Ford, who for not good reason plays a large part in this biography, Leaming's book is a "cheap, exploitive work of fiction that pretends to be a biography; it's a romance novel that uses well-known and therefore marketable names for its characters. . . ."New York Times, May 14, 1995

With regard to the purported thoroughness of the research, the author of an upcoming biography of Spencer Tracy, Selden West, said in part in the same New York Times edition:

"Of the many instances of Ms. Leaming's distortions and omissions, perhaps the most egregious relates to the cache of love letters to Ford that forms the back bone of this book.As Ms. Leaming tells us "it was during the several weeks I spent in Bloomington studying the Ford papers that Katharine Hepburn first came alive for me in a way that made this book possible to write.Day after day, I would arrive at the library as the doors opened and begin to read Kate's letters to Ford-- letters unlike any others of hers I was to see. I read at breakneck speed all the while marking pages to be photocopied, pages I was later to read countless times until the words and phrases were carved in my memory."

These are the facts.The Lily library in Bloomington owns five letters from Ford to Ms. Hepburn and sixteen communications from Ms. Hepburn to Ford.Of these sixteen several are postcards and telegrams and half are dated after 1960 (Their serious involvement was in 1936-37, long before Ms. Hepburn met Tracy.)At most there are two love letters.The day after day regimen that Ms. Leaming describes is only possible if she is the slowest reader alive, she is reading the same letters over and over again or she is misrepresenting the Lily holdings.

The last seems clear when one re-examines Ms. Leaming's story."In the spring of 1940 when Kate returned to Los Angeles . . . . her relationship with Ford was still somehow unresolved.Their correspondence shows that they never stopped caring for each other.Gradually the lovers became loving friends.Yet there was no demarcation, no definite unambiguous yes or no.To read their letters from that time is to watch them struggle, sometimes uncomfortably to forge a new kind of relationship."

There is no correspondence between Katharine Hepburn and John Ford from the spring of 1940 -- indeedfrom the entire 1940s - at the Lily library, or to my knowledge, anywhere else.In the Lily library there is no correspondence between Ford and Ms Hepburn at all dated between 1939 and 1954 - both those years are represented by single letters; the first a thank you note, the second a film offer.The next contact is a postcard in 1960. Ms. Leaming has bent the fact to establish a romantic triangle that simple never existed." ... Read more

12. Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn
by William J. Mann
Hardcover: 656 Pages (2006-10-03)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$1.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805076255
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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The first major Katharine Hepburn biography independent of her control reveals the smart, complicated, and sophisticated woman behind the image

Onscreen she played society girls, Spencer Tracy's sidekick, lionesses in winter. But the best character Katharine Hepburn ever created was Katharine Hepburn: a Connecticut Yankee, outspoken and elegant, she wore pants whatever the occasion and bristled at Hollywood glitter. So captivating was her image that she never seemed less than authentic. But how well did we know her, really? Was there a woman behind the image who was more human, more driven, and ultimately more triumphant because of her vulnerability?

William J. MannÂ--a cultural historian and journalist, a sympathetic admirer but no mere fanÂ--has fashioned an intimate, often revisionist, and truly unique close-up that challenges much of what  we think we know about the Great Kate. Previous biographiesÂ--mostly products of friends and fansÂ--have recycled the stories she hid behind, taking Hollywood myths at face value. Mann goes deeper, delivering new details from friends and family who have not been previously interviewed and drawing on materials only available since Hepburn's death.

With affection, intelligence, and a voluminous knowledge of Hollywood history, Mann shows us how a woman originally considered too special and controversial for fame learned the fine arts of movie stardom and transformed herself into an icon as durable and all-American as the Statue of Liberty.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (57)

2-0 out of 5 stars Mann is a wonderful writer but not here
Exhaustive (in every way) biography of Katharine Hepburn. It goes into great detail about most aspects of her life.Author Mann gets into Hepburn--who she was and why she acted the way she did.He backs up most of his thoughts with articles and previous books of Hepburn.There's just one small factor missing--her movies. Mann does make it pretty clean in his preface that he wasn't going to go into detail about her movies.That's fine but totally ignoring them is not the way to go!I find it hard to believe that all the movies that Hepburn made didn't affect her life in some way.At one point Mann says that Hepburn spat at director Joe Mankiwicz after filiming "Suddenly Last Summer".Fine--but why??? This book doesn't tell us.

Also a lot of this is Mann guessing at why Hepburn did or why she said certain things. That's OK but some of these guesses go on for pages!It gets boring quickly. Mann is an incredible writer--his fiction and previous books on Hollywood are just great but he fumbles with this one.For some reason the New York Times cited this as one of the best books of its year!

1-0 out of 5 stars Laborious and Unrewarding Read
In writing a biography, there ought to be some aspect of your subject that is appealing to you, that you admire, or that one finds stimulating. Lacking this, one should consider not making the attempt....for readers will then necessarily be subjected to an unremitting tedium...and set the book aside. This is what here happened to me.

Add to this ennui, is William J. Mann's real enthusiasm: His agenda for "outing" his subject and her friends. If supported by fact, his so called homosexual "sensitivity", could awaken some interest. Unfortunately for the reader, he fails on this too. Mann plays a game of smoke and mirrors. There are no demonstrable facts to back up his assumptions. His skills as a writer are employed in the pursuit of the non-existent. It's a fatuous and boring game. What remains, is a book about Mann himself, and this is not an interesting enough subject, for readers to spend all the time to plow through 532 pages. The book mistitled as "Kate", should honestly and logically be retitled "Mann".

Much is made about Hepburn's statement about "living as a man". What she meant of course, was the Hollywood of the era...and in fact the nation...was "a man's world". A world to which, women were relatively new. In fact, women were new to most workforces outside the home...and society was still stacked against their success. To succeed, women had to display many characteristics...of courage, self discipline, self value, and strength...once thought to be sole preserve of men. For women, this was a great and historic challenge. It's not for no reason, that Bette Davis had inscribed on her grave: "She did it the hard way".

Women had to fight for their rightful places, and for recognition, within the male dominated studio system. That Mann should have such a shallow and limited perspective on this reality, shows a significant mental dullness. To have such little empathy for the human beings engaged in this effort, shows a human failure of noteworthy proportions. But further, to so blindly smear Katharine Hepburn for doing so, indicates virulent malevolent intent.

Movie stars are human beings too, as Ginger Rogers implored in her autobiography. False "exposes" like this book, obscure, not reveal, all the truths of this fundamental observation. William J. Mann had an opportunity to make a real contribution to human understanding, and he squandered it. It's sad, but it will not be the first time that a writer, surrenders his ethics, and truth, for his self interest in creating a sensation.

I'll give Katherine Hepburn the last word...just as history will...."You can say anything you want about me, as long as it isn't true.". This is Kate's answer to the likes of William J. Mann.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Having bought this with great anticipation as a Hepburn fan, I have found it frustrating to get through.The disappointment is not that the author wishes to expose a different reality than the popular perception about Hepburn (the very reason for reading a biography), it is the mean-spirited way in which he does it.At every opportunity, every motive she has is placed in a negative light, with circular conjecture and malice.And the unending obsession with her sexuality becomes incredibly tedious. She was evidently gay or bisexual: we get it.But the author comes back to this again, and again, but never with new insight.That a Hollywood legend is self-interested is not a revelation, nor should it be cause for over 500 pages of condemnation.Page by page, I keep wondering why the author is so angry with her.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book, without the fictions of the other bios
Kate is a tremendous biography by William Mann. He has so many things to say and interpret about one of the most complex actresses/ persons in the world.

I loved very much the real love story between Kate andSpencer Tracy, and Kate's care and love for Laura Harding, and her long standing companion, Phyllis.
Also too, there was her care for Spencer Tracy for five years, and her devotion right up to and including the end of his life, dying in her arms.

Katharine Hepburn was and is a culture unto herself. Her life demands analysis and length. This woman was not ordinary at all, but extraordinary and fascinating, as she described so many people she knew or admired from afar.

Her love of women was strong, and it gave such energy to her art, as she acted in film after film, play after play. Katharine Hepburn was very shy, but she loved people, men too, and Spencer Tracy was one of them, and her favorite.

But her films! Long Day's Journey Into Night, Bringing Up Baby, Holiday, Summertime, The Lion In Winter, Little Women, Alice Adams..and on and on it goes, this great artist and star, filled with love, charity, and forgiveness.
Thank you Mr Mannfor this singular treasure.

4-0 out of 5 stars image care and maintenance in old Hollywood
I enjoyed this book, and saw it as a commentary on image making in Hollywood, as well as Katharine Hepburn herself, who walked the line between conservative and liberal Hollywood. She joined the studios pre-code, and as Mann tells it, then had to adjust her life and image in order to stay in the public eye and keep making pictures.She did this through trial and error, apparently, but as we all know, was very successful. Mann's book exposed her as a canny business person, with herself as the product to be marketed. She had a Warren Buffet like instinct to read the public opinion and find just the right persona and image during each phase of her career to project through her characters and what she fed to the press about her personal life.How she and the studios did this without focus groups and all the sophisticated product testing that happens today is amazing; she and her clique were able to check the popular pulse through pure gut instinct. I also found his deconstruction of her cinematic pairings with Tracy fascinating commentary on public acceptance of independent women during that time period; she did what she had to do to survive professionally. And it would seem from the book, she also liked it... As for her probable bisexuality, hiding it was an economic necessity at that time, especially due to her ultimate decision to project certain conservative American values on screen. She wanted to be a star, and not a character actress, and any hint of an alternative lifestyle would taint her image and result in rejection from her public, and consequently back bench roles. Flash forward to Lindsay Lohan's present situation. Mann portrayed Hepburn to have been very calculating about her film choices, and to have a clear understanding of the connection between her roles and the creation of her public image, such as when she used the African Queen to redeem herself in the public eye from the red-scare accusations. I see parallels between Hepburn's film career and that of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who later in his career also strategically chose film roles to create his image (probably with a political career in mind): rugged action hero, leader, dominant male, tough guy, independent fighter with a conscience ready to buck the system for "what's right", a protector, and also a tender compassionate man who loves children and values family, and identifies with women even to the point of being the first pregnant man (etc.) Hepburn had no such political ambitions; Mann believed that Hepburn just wanted to be famous, which is motivation enough.I think that some of the resistance to this book, and the doubting of her bisexuality, is testament to her successful creation of an image, which included elements of who she was, but not the whole package. And that I believe was Mann's point in this book.This was a good read. I recommend this book to all Hepburn fans. ... Read more

13. At Home with Kate: Growing up in Katharine Hepburn's Household
by Eileen Considine-Meara
Hardcover: 240 Pages (2006-10-27)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471783765
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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At Home With Kate offers an inside look at Katherine Hepburn’s life and home, from the vantage of Eileen Considine-Meara, daughter of Hepburn’s live-in cook and housekeeper. This extraordinary book reveals the real woman behind the icon, sharing her daily rituals and telling stories of the many famous friends she frequently entertained, including Sidney Poitier, Lauren Bacall, Robert Wagner, and many more. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book
At Home With Kate is an engaging and informative book about Katherine Hepburn at her 2 homes, a Turtle Bay townhouse in NYC and her family home, Fenwick in CN. The book was written by her cook of 30 plus years. The book also includes favorite recipes that Katherine Hepburn enjoyed throughout her life.

Highly recommended for Katherine hepburn fans everywhere !!!

5-0 out of 5 stars fabulous
At Home with Kate: Growing up in Katharine Hepburn's Household
This book far exceeded my expecations.It was a heartwarming account of memories of the very special relationship Katherine Hepburn has with the author's mother and her family.This book shows that in life hard work, love and loyalty are far more important than fame and money.The author's mother is a warm, caring person, who I think has as much class as her employer. I only wish the book was longer.It warmed my heart.

5-0 out of 5 stars Katharine Hepburn
Wonderful Book that gives real insight into the the home life of Katharine Hepburn.Thoroughly enjoyable reading this book and how the author gives us a inside picture of the great Ms. Hepburn. She was a class act and lived her life as she wanted to.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice to read.
Makes you feel much closer, like a good neighbor. Great recipes. Try the brownies (scrumptious!)

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish it had been longer!!
Beautifully written. Once you start it you just can't put it down and you wish for more when you've finished.
A big thank you to Eileen Considine-Meara for sharing this. ... Read more

14. Private World of Katharine Hepburn
by John Bryson
 Hardcover: Pages (1994-09-12)
list price: US$9.99
Isbn: 0517128934
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A photographic portrait of Katharine Hepburn and the life she leads now. This collection of photographs taken over the last 15 years by close friend and former "Life" correspondent, John Bryson, reveals not Hepburn the American icon, but rather Kate, unguarded, candid and intimate. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Getting to Know Kate
John Bryson was given full co-operation by Miss Hepburn in creating this book.As a result, the reader is invited into her homes and given the opportunity to experience her "private world" as evidenced in the title.The photographs are beautiful and even if there were no text, the book would provide a satisfying, interesting view into the life of this fascinating icon.The book is all the more intriguing for the fact that Miss Hepburn would never have participated in a book like this during the 30's, 40's, 50's, or 60's.It has only been since the 1980's that Miss Hepburn has been willing to allow a look into her life and always on her own terms.Miss Hepburn was amaster craftsman as an actor and a master craftsman of her life and image.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb Compilation by John Bryson
Author John Bryson has managed to assemble a comprehensive photo collection of the great, and extremely private, Katharine Hepburn.Bryson has used his publishing and Hollywood contacts to compile an interesting collection of little and never-before-seen photos of Hepburn's life as actress, artist, athlete, co-worker, ham, homebody and friend.It could not have been an easy task to assemble such an array of unusual and revealing photos, and Bryson's observations and commentary illuminate without the usual stilted editorialization that so often accompanies photo biographies.This is a fine work any Hepburn fan would want for their library.I say buy two--one for a friend, and one for yourself! ... Read more

15. Tracy and Hepburn
by Garson Kanin
Paperback: 307 Pages (1988-10-31)
list price: US$11.00 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1556111029
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This classic Hollywood memoir is again available, now with a new foreword by the author. Spence Tracy and Kate Hepburn were the couple everyone knew of but no one really knew anything about. What kept these two opposites together makes for an interesting read. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars 'Tracy and Hepburn' is an irreplaceable book that anyone could admire and aspire to be like it's subjects that will be missed
Since I enjoy acting and actors, I was given this book out of my grandfathers vast collection of books. I knew Katharine Hepburn was a popular actress, and Spencer Tracy stared with her in a few films. I had seen 'The Aviator' film about Howard Hughes, from Martin Scorsese. Cate Blanchett is incredible in her role as Katharine Hepburn. I'm so thrilled she won the Academy Award for her portrayal of someone who really didn't thankfully act like a star. She was just an ordinary person, and that is a great aspect of these fine actors.While this book only touches a little on that aspect of Katharine's life with Howard Hughes, it is the witty comments from Spencer Tracy and really a great friendship and love between this special pair of actors that is examined and admired here. Before reading 'Tracy and Hepburn' I read 'Audrey: Her Real Story', by Alexander Walker. The two Hepburn's are quite different and really don't have anything really in common. That isn't a bad thing at all. Except for the same last names, and acting in the Golden Age of Hollywood. 'Tracy and Hepburn' is a rare book. It is luckily authored by Garson Kanin, who has worked with and been wonderful friends with the acting duo, and neighbour to Katharine Hepburn for many years. Katharine certainly seems like an admireable woman and understandable risk taker. She, like her family isn't really content to just do nothing. She makes things happen. She also likes to skateboard and has even attempted surfing. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn loved to have a meal with friends at home and chat. 'Tracy and Hepburn' shows us a simplier life in those days. I didn't live through the Golden Age of Hollywood with all of these seemingly wonderfully talented people, but we should all aspire to be like them. I really haven't seen many Katharine Hepburn or Spencer Tracy films. I've seen most of the great 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner', with the two of them. I've seen 'Boy's Town' with Spencer Tracy. I've seen Katharine in 'The Philadelphia Story', and 'Little Women'. That's really all I've seen of these two great actors. I am a fan of Humprey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and both love Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, so I was very glad to read about 'The African Queen'. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy keep it real. There isn't anything fake about them. I understand their appeal to others in the movie business, and those out of it. So I'm now a fan. I remembering prefering 'High Society' with Grace Kelly over 'The Philadelphia Story', but I'm certain to enjoy both films equally now. I'm not sure if I'd read another book on Katharine Hepburn or Spencer Tracy, but I'll never say never to it. I'm really not sure what would be the best aside from this book. I'm sure there are many that expand from this book, because Katharine is still alive at the end of this book. If there are any favorite books Katharine Hepburn fans enjoy please contact me and let me know. I'm very interested. I'm not sure if there is any truth about Katharine not enjoying the lack of privacy about her life in this book, but I'm sure nothing hurtful was meant by Garson Kanin writing it. He has captured these two real-life characters beautifully. Katharine also hated doing interviews but loved to travel and make plans. Keeping her life in order, and staying fit and healthy. She also loved to give gifts, but her birthday seems unknown. My Mum was born on the 12th May like Katharine so there's something special I can take from reading about Katharine Hepburn. I'm glad I share both Katharine Hepburn's and Spencer Tracy's love for acting. These two special people from the Golden Age of Hollywood are irreplaceable, but how fortunate and enjoyable for all of us that we can still watch them shine on screen. I love the immortality of cinema. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy really must be the best in the business. I'm so glad I've shared the earth with some extraordinary people. Thank you both for such happy productive lives and thank you Garson for recounting it for others to enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yummy, but...
I enjoy this book immensely, but I wish Mr. Kanin hadn't constantly been upstaging himself throughout.One review I read of this book said (aptly, I thought) that the title of the book should have been called We Three.I'm sure that he and his wife Ruth Gordon were good friends of Tracy and Hepburn's; I'm also sure that Tracy and Hepburn had other friends they were close to as well.I do know that the invasion of privacy made Katherine Hepburn furious when this book came out - she refused to speak to Mr. Kanin for several years as a result.I don't know - the stories are good, but it puts a bad taste in my mouth all the same.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Anecdotes
This is a delightful book filled with anecdotes about Kanin, his wife Ruth Gordon, and their relationship with Tracy and Hepburn.But, of course, no mention is made of the fact that Spencer and Katherine were having an affair and no hint of the "A" word (adultery).This is a cleaned up version of reality, but nonetheless ceaselessly entertaining.Tracy, however, comes off as he usually does:melancholy, dark, and troubled.Only Kanin's affection for him redeems Tracy in the reader's eyes.The parts about Hepburn are the real treat here; she must have been a riot to have as a friend.

5-0 out of 5 stars I've had this book for 15 years
And I've probably read it 12 times. Spencer Tracy's abrupt nature is described in great detail, but with real affection by Garson Kanin. By the end of the book, we understand why Bonaventure was more than just Tracy's middle name. Hepburn's unwavering love and willingness to put Spen-SAH first often seems hard to reconcile with her solid will and staunch intellect. Through Garson Kanin's eyes, we see why the couple's differences made for a fascinating life together, on and off screen. No slouch in the talent department himself, Kanin's asides on his and Ruth Gordon's antics with the formidable Tracy and Hepburn could make for an exquisite book, in and of themselves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Garson does a great job showing off Tracy and Hepburn in this delightful book. You get to take a look inside Kate's life from a good friend of hers. Garson passed away in March of this year and he left many wonderful thingsbehind. This book just being one. He also wrote several of the screenplaysthat Tracy and Hepburn stared in. This book is a must for all. ... Read more

16. How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great
by Karen Karbo
Hardcover: 208 Pages (2007-04-17)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$3.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596913517
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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How to Hepburn, Karen Karbo's sleek, contemporary reassessment of one of America's greatest icons, takes us on a spin through the great Kate's long, eventful life, with an aim toward seeing what we can glean from the First Lady of Cinema. One part How Proust Can Change Your Life and one part Why Sinatra Matters, How to Hepburn teases some unexpected lessons from the life of a woman whose freewheeling, pants-wearing determination redefined the image of the independent woman while eventually endearing her to the world.
This witty, provocative gem is full of no-nonsense Hepburn-style commentary on subjects such as: making denial work for you; the importance of being brash, facing fear, and always having an aviator in your life; learning why and how to lie; the benefits of discretion; making the most of a dysfunctional relationship; and the power of forgiving your parents. Thrilling fans of the notoriously independent actress, award-winner Karen Karbo presents a gusty guidebook to harnessing your inner Hepburn, and living life on your own terms.
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Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bright, Sassy, and Spot-on
Like Karbo's other books, this is funny and perceptive. There's a lot of style here, as is fitting for the subject, but I don't want to make the book sound too light: it's genuinely thought-provoking.

As another reader points out, the book has the feel of a manifesto, and here that's a good thing. It moves along with the purpose, energy, and wink-as-you-go humor of, well, Hepburn.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I looked forward to reading this book, largely because I am such a Hepburn fan.However, I was deeply disappointed. Ms. Karbo is a wonderful, breezy writer.However, the lessons in this book aren't much more than her personal opinions backed up by Hepburn anecdotes.While it's clear Ms. Karbo admires Kate Hepburn, I was not inspired nor enlightened by the material.If you are interested in learning about the actress, I suggest one of the other biographies.If you are interested in life lessons, I suggest a different book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Little Book
I'm a woman who loves movies, loves Katharine Hepburn, and loves self-help wisdom.So when I picked up How to Hepburn, all 3 of these antennae were waving.I was taken by the Dick Cavett epigram on the very first page hinting at "some secret" of Hepburn's that made her so successful and content, and found myself in that greedy, plundering mode of reading where you look for something that can benefit YOU. I kept finding absolute gems.The first chapter, for example, is called The Importance of Being Brash, and right away you get what Karbo's doing: entertaining us with inside stories about and insights into Hepburn but also genuinely extracting important ideas for all of us.Hepburn started wearing pants and outraging people in grade school when girls and women in pants were unheard-of, and never stopped; she was the first girl to wear pants to class at Bryn Mawr, and in fact "they became her trademark... her baggies were so raggedy she held them up with safety pins, a style that, when combined with Hepburn's devotion to the pursuitof fun (smoking; skinny-dipping in the library fountain; breaking and entering), could best be described as Hobo Flapper."This really makes me want to cut loose.Maybe I will get some black jeans and wear kohl on my eyes like that boy I saw the other day in the museum.

One of my favorite chapters is Fear Management, the Hepburn Way, mainly because it reveals that Hepburn's seeming fearlessness masked horrible stage fright.This is great news.Katherine Hepburn had stage fright?And went and did all that theater acting anyway?What Karbo says is "The flinty truth is that mostly things get worse, including our fears.Solace is found in acclimation: we may not overcome our terror, but we get used to the sensation of being terrified."This is a wonderful nugget that is not unfamiliar to those of us familiar with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Like Hepburn herself, this book defies categorization.It is bracing and thoughtful and a lot of fun.It's... well, it's inspiring. It wouldmake a great birthday present for a woman of any age.

1-0 out of 5 stars Why emulate Hepburn?
Anyone knowing anything about Katherine Hepburn knows, despite film roles and a public persona, that she was in a groveling and servile relationship with Spencer Tracy, the love of her life.No feminist would want to copy her.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Cursory Look at the Hepburn Way of Life Offers Little in the Way of Revelation
As I was looking at the biographies section of my local independent bookstore, I noticed this compact book snuggled between much larger books about two screen icons who share the same last name, Audrey and Katharine Hepburn. Given the provocative title, I wanted to venture a guess as to which Hepburn the author was talking about since both women have inspired various levels of imitation and adoration even after their respective deaths. As I suspected, the book turns out to be about Kate on the not-so-coincidental occasion of her centenary. However, author Karen Karbo is not really examining the legendary actress's life in detail but rather taking a more cursory look at the cues in her life and memorable quotes that helped shape her enduring persona. Hepburn obviously lived life on her own terms, and Karbo sets out to define what the guiding principles were behind the actress's 93-year-old life.

Toward that end, the author does a reasonably entertaining job of presenting the Hepburn philosophy, steeped as it is in self-mythologizing, but there is nothing revelatory here that would surprise fans. It's common knowledge that the woman was a difficult personality with a wealth of idiosyncrasies. At the same time, she continues to be a beloved icon for her unmovable sense of self and her non-conformist mindset just as much for her enduring career. Karbo's treatment reads a bit like a manifesto, which I'm sure is intentional, but without the cumulative context of Hepburn's life events, there is a lack of resonance to the life lessons presented. Several comprehensive biographies on the market offer theories on her life, though none more accurately encapsulates her philosophy than the subject herself in Me : Stories of My Life.Even better is the two-part 1973 interview Dick Cavett conducted with a 66-year-old Hepburn (mentioned briefly in the book and available on the first disc of The Dick Cavett Show - Hollywood Greats). With her crackling persona in full bloom, the legend threatens to make Cavett into a whipping boy with her unapologetic honesty and lacerating wit. That will give you a more vivid impression of Hepburn's outlook on life than this book really can. ... Read more

17. Property from the Estate of Katharine Hepburn
by Katharine] Sotheby's, Incorporated (Firm) Staff (editors) [Hepburn
Paperback: Pages (2004)
-- used & new: US$49.99
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Asin: B000VAEFWI
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You Are Bidding On An Out Of Print And Highly Collectible Sotheby's Auction Catalog Titled Property From The Estate Of Katharine Hepburn Dated June 10 & 11, 2004 Lot Size 691 243 Pages Sold Out Record Breaking Auction Makes This Catalog Highly Collectible Total Sold $5,856,100 Final Auction Prices Included ... Read more

18. Katharine Hepburn: An Independent Woman
by Ronald Bergan
Hardcover: 192 Pages (1996-10-01)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$9.74
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Asin: 1559703512
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Charting a career that has spanned seven decades and produced four Oscars, an author touches on all of the actress's films and her relationships off-screen with many of her leading men, and provides photographs as testimony to her strength of character. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Kate Pics!!!!!
I love Katharine Hepburn and this is a absolutly terrific, especially all the pictures. Oh and it has her correct b-day, May 12, 1907. ... Read more

19. Katharine Hepburn: Star as Feminist (Film and Culture Series)
by Andrew Britton
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2004-02)
list price: US$85.00 -- used & new: US$85.00
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Asin: 023113276X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Of all the major Hollywood stars, Katharine Hepburn was the least conventional, conforming to none of the stereotypes of female superstardom. She was not an exotic outsider in Hollywood like Greta Garbo or Marlene Dietrich; nor was she a victim of the studios like Judy Garland or Marilyn Monroe; and she was certainly not a creature of the system like Joan Crawford and Lana Turner. Instead, she always appeared intelligent, willful and independent, able to develop her own persona within the confines of the studio system.
Andrew Britton proposes a feminist reading of Hepburn's films, arguing that her persona raises problems about class, female sexuality, and women's oppression that strain to the limits the conventions of a cinema ultimately committed to the reassertion of bourgeois gender roles. Hepburn's work is also used to explore more general issues, such as the functioning of the star system. This is one of the very few analyses of American cinema to focus on a film star rather than a director or a genre and as such is essential reading for anyone interested in the movies.
First published in the United Kingdom twenty years ago, this lavishly illustrated new edition features a foreword by the noted film critic Robin Wood. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Psychoanalytical Book about Kate's Roles
This book is probably one of the only books on Kate to not focus on her life, but on her movies. The author analyzes each one so intricately and finds how Hepburn was a premiere feminist in each one. It's interesting when you read about his analysis of several Tracy/Hepburn movies, as well as "The Philadelphia Story." The movies, according to the author, try to teach Hepburn a lesson and make her conform to the standards of the patriarchy. Interesting to note, the author also compares and contrasts several films of Bette Davis, Bacall/Bogart, and Astaire/Rogers with Hepburn's films as well. Excellent read- very professional. The best part about this book probably is that it's loaded with glossy, beautiful pictures from almost every movie Kate made.

5-0 out of 5 stars A sharp and thought-provoking marvel!
This is a superb critical evaluation of all of Hepburn's film roles until 1984. It is the only book about Hepburn that did not disappoint me. Hepburn biographies and studies have often tended to "normalize" Hepburn (eg. Kate - Charles Higham) or rationalize some contradictory aspects of her personality (eg. A Remarkable Woman - Anne Edwards) based on*conclusions drawn from*material that is in media circulation. Andrew Britton, in refreshing contrast, meticulously examines the implied beliefs and thought processes *behind* such material. Hepburn, through Britton's book, emerges in an arena all her own, resisting all attempts at conventional compartmentalization.

I absolutely agree with his views on many movies, say, "Woman of the Year", where Hepburn's presence in the title role suggests an independence and authority which the film's contrived, though expertly acted, ending, tries (unsuccessfully) to suppress. His views on the "violence of the performance" in "Summertime", which makes "the film's project untenable", are also very apt.

Apart from a thorough examination of Hepburn's roles with Tracy, Grant and others, this book makes pointed comparisons between the spinster roles of Bette Davis and Hepburn. It also has a very original discussion on The Philadelphia Story (Hepburn), Ninotchka (Greta Garbo), and Destry Rides Again (Marlene Dietrich), which according to Britton, were attempts to humanize (and hence compromise) its three female stars, who had previously been labelled "box-office poison".

For fans of Hepburn, for serious followers of films, and for all those who are concerned about the hidden ideas that films (sometimes inadvertently) propagate into the filmgoer's mind, this is an objective, insightful book which should not be missed. ... Read more

20. I Know Where I'm Going: Katharine Hepburn, A Personal Biography
by Charlotte Chandler
Hardcover: 349 Pages (2010-03-02)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$2.99
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Asin: 1439149283
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Drawing on a series of recordings made over many years, beginning in the mid-1970s, acclaimed biographer Charlotte Chandler has written the most intimate and personal biography ever published of Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn.

Introduced by George Cukor, who directed Hepburn in such classic films as Little Women, The Philadelphia Story, and Adam's Rib, Chandler socialized with Hepburn at the Cukor estate, where the star was then living in a cottage on the grounds. Hepburn agreed to allow Chandler to tape their conversations, during which she spoke candidly about her personal and professional lives. She described finding the body of her adored older brother, an apparent suicide at fifteen, and assuming his birthday as her own. She told Chandler intimate details of her marriage and divorce from Ludlow Ogden Smith, "Luddy," who remained a friend, and of her affair with pilot Howard Hughes. She said that she enjoyed diving nude off the wings of his seaplane when they went swimming together. Her warmest recollections were of her twenty-seven-year affair with Spencer Tracy.

Chandler also interviewed others who knew and worked with Hepburn during her long career, from Cukor to Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Cary Grant, Christopher Reeve, and many others. All of them described an actress who was supremely talented, professional, and confident, who always knew where she was going.

By the time she retired, Hepburn had won a record four Best Actress Academy Awards and had been nominated twelve times. Her acting career spanned six decades, and she was universally acknowledged as one of the finest -- if not the finest -- actors in film history. Her range was enormous: She acted in serious drama and in screwball comedies with equal skill. As she revealed to Chandler in their conversations, her family was a great influence on Hepburn. Her mother was a suffragette and her beloved father a doctor. She would eventually retire to the home where she grew up (although it had been rebuilt after it was destroyed in a storm), symbolically affirming the family values that shaped her personality. She was careful to distinguish her personal and professional lives, telling Chandler that she thought of herself as "Kathy," a childhood name (she had called herself "Jimmy" for a while in childhood), but regarded the public Katharine Hepburn as "the creature."

I Know Where I'm Going is a fascinating, delightful, and personal book that brings readers as close as possible to the real Katharine Hepburn. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars On The Fence
I'm not sure how helpful my review of this book will be, but I'll try.Like most others who have reviewed it, I've been a huge fan of Hepburn's for ages - I've read all the books, seen all the movies, clipped all the magazine interviews.Then I read the scathing reviews on Amazon of this book, people insisting it was a hoax, sure that it was a fake.I was daunted but read it anyway.I found it an enjoyable read and I could hear Hepburn's voice throughout.

That said, unless someone can produce incontrovertible proof that it is a hoax, my advice to potential readers would be to read it for yourself and make up your own mind. Or don't.I still don't know if the author ever spoke with Hepburn or not, but I guess it didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Accessible
Much has been written about the legendary actress Katharine Hepburn, including the recent offerings KATE: The Woman Who Was Hepburn, by William J. Mann, and KATE REMEMBERED by A. Scott Berg. Even the woman herself couldn't resist telling her own story, and did so in a wonderful autobiography simply titled ME: Stories of My Life. So do we really need another book about Katharine Hepburn? The answer is a resounding "yes," but only if it's written by Charlotte Chandler.

Chandler is the author of numerous Hollywood biographies, including THE GIRL WHO WALKED HOME ALONE: Bette Davis, A Personal Biography, and SHE ALWAYS KNEW HOW, about larger-than-life actress Mae West. She culled this latest work from a series of recorded conversations she had with Hepburn starting in the 1970s, when she first met her through director George Cukor. Although a fiercely private person, Hepburn opened up quite candidly about her life, her loves and her career, and in Chandler's quick and breezy style, it feels like having a conversation with Hepburn herself.

It's only fitting that such a remarkable actress be born of a remarkable family. Hepburn was the first daughter of a doctor and a women's rights activist, a highly controversial figure in their conservative Hartford, Connecticut community. Raised with a healthy respect for herself and others, "Kathy," as she was known then, thrived in the highly athletic and competitive environment of Fenwick, the family home on the Long Island Sound. Always marching to the beat of her own drummer, she cut her hair short and demanded her family refer to her as "Jimmy" because she felt only boys were getting to have all the fun.

It would be in this idyllic childhood that Hepburn experienced a most painful loss, which proved a defining moment in her young life: the death of her older brother, Tom, by apparent suicide when he was not yet 16. She spent her remaining years at home striving to be the perfect child to please her parents, who would not tolerate any talk of Tom after his tragic death. Following her mother's lead, Hepburn headed off to Bryn Mawr College, hoping for the same wonderful experience her mother had, but academics failed to excite her. What she did gain was a new interest in theater, and this became her mission in life. She began working steadily on the New York stage right out of college, and it was only a matter of time before Hollywood came calling.

Right before embarking on her stage career, Hepburn married for the first and only time. Ludlow Odgen Smith, or "Luddy" as she called him, became her staunchest advocate, fan and lifelong friend despite the brevity of their marriage: "The marriage didn't survive, but the friendship truly survived, and that was what was so important." He was the first in a series of smart and driven men who captured her fancy. Howard Hughes was another high-profile suitor who, in addition to being the "most purely passionate relationship" of her life thus far, proved himself to be professionally invaluable, as he secured the film rights to the hit Broadway play The Philadelphia Story (which she was starring in) and gave it to Hepburn as a gift, a fact she liked to joke about: "I slept with Howard Hughes to get The Philadelphia Story....well, not exactly, but that's the way it worked out...He was a brilliant man and going to bed with him was very pleasurable. But the pleasure of owning The Philadelphia Story lasted longer."

Lovers were not the only men who left a huge imprint on Hepburn. Her father, a successful urologist, is responsible for her athleticism and nerve. He taught her to strive to be the best and never to give in to fear. Director George Cukor also played an important part in her life: "If I had chosen anyone in the world to be my father except my own father, it would have been George...He was the person in my life I was most comfortable with, besides Spencer."

Of course, the "Spencer" she's referring to is none other than Spencer Tracy, the love of her life, whom she met in those early days of Hollywood. Despite his being married (Tracy was separated from his wife, but as a Catholic would never pursue divorce), the two enjoyed a 27-year love affair that lasted until his death in the late 1960s. Their chemistry was captured onscreen in films like Adam's Rib, Desk Set, and their final collaboration, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Tracy died of heart failure a mere 17 days after filming was completed. His death began a new chapter in Hepburn's life. After some time, she moved from the little guest cottage that Tracy used to rent on Cukor's property back to her beloved New York City and Fenwick, the family home. She continued to act into her eighth decade, her last project being 1994's TV movie One Christmas and lived out the rest of her days with friends and family until her death in 2003 at age 96. And what a legacy she left behind. Her life had been filled with family and fun adventures, and her career had already moved into legendary status. In all, she won a record four Academy Awards and was nominated 12 times, a record only surpassed by Meryl Streep, who has garnered 16 nominations.

Charlotte Chandler's strong suit as a biographer is her ability to pull back and let the subjects of her books tell their own stories, in their own words, thus giving the reader a more intimate portrayal of the star. Although many of the stories included in I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING have been featured elsewhere, there are still many more frank observations from Hepburn herself. And for a breezy, well-paced and sensational read, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better biographer than Chandler. In her hands, even the most complex, rarified person becomes accessible, and their stories start to feel less like your standard biography and more like a juicy conversation over lunch between good friends.

1-0 out of 5 stars stunning in its nothing-ness
This is an author about whom Jack Ncholson once said "Charlotte Chandler has a tape recorder in her head". The publisher proudly splashes this among the "praise" quotes for Chandler on the back of the dust jacket for this volume. But honestly .. tape recordings do not a biography make. And whether or not we're to take Nicholson's words as being praise or not (and you could take those words many ways), in this case long, uncontextualized sequences about sections of Hepburn's life do not add to the scholarship.

The author starts out with text, as if dictated by Kate, on the subject of what many biographers take as the most provocative and perhaps instrumental event in Kate's young life .. the death of her older brother, perhaps as a suicide perhaps as an accident during a stunt involving a noose, while the two children were visiting family friends in New York City. This particular biographer's choice should be the first hint: the author is not selecting for understanding but for prurient interest. And then there's the style itself: the author jumps in between quotations we're to believe are coming directly from Kate (with no context about where or when these quotes were delivered, and to whom), and sequences where the author places herself in the middle of the action, during a visit to Cukor's home, for example. Sloppy.

The style of the writing is confusing. Muddled. The author neglects a primary biographer's role: to contextualize. We're not simply resorting note cards here. The biographer must order, and select a voice and stick to it.

I am a veteran of Hepburn biographies and memoirs, and this piece does not stack up. It does not add to the scholarship. It is hard to discern what the author felt she was adding by writing the book at all.

A disappointment.

1-0 out of 5 stars I vote for a moratorium on books that exploit Hepburn
I must add my voice to the chorus of negative comment about this latest exploitation of the great actress. In a lifetime of reading books about Katharine Hepburn - from the good (exceedingly rare) to the bad (exceedingly common) to the ugly (those that amount to the equivalent of supermarket tabloid junk) one would be hard pressed to come across a publication that was more dishonest than this exercise in bad fan fiction. The book purports to be a record of conversations that took place between the author and the actress in the 1970's. It's 2010. What, I ask myself, took her so long to reveal these bon mots? The long, verbatim quotes sound like the author TRYING to sound like Hepburn speaking about any number of topics that could have been swiped from numerous other sources. But that's not all, dear reader. We also get the exclusive on Hepburn's thoughts about ... sex with her husband, sex with Howard Hughes, etc, etc, etc. As a previous reviewer here stated, not only is the syntax screwy but the content is completely questionable. The idea that Hepburn would have spoken about some of these topics in the manner put forth here rings patently absurd to anyone who knows anything about her. There are easily avoidable factual errors in the movie synopses - added for no discernibly good reason other than to pad the length, no doubt - and buried in Hepburn's "quotes." Did Hepburn have an uncle Floyd, as Chandler quotes in the chapter where she claims Hepburn unloaded about her deceased brother Tom? Or was it uncle Lloyd? Well, maybe Chandler couldn't decipher the difference on her taped recordings. What taped recordings, you ask? Yes, I have the same question. The book is devoid of sources but thanks every famous person the author says she knows. I'm, frankly, astonished at the chutzpah it takes for a writer to put words into someone's mouth - many, many long passages of quoted words - and try to pass them off as authentic. Smart readers with an affection forHepburn can see through this sort of thing. I would say you have to read it to believe it - but if you're a Hepburn fan I'd advise against it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Questionable At Best
Of all the books that I have read by Charlotte Chandler, this one is probably the worst. Described as a biography, this book is by no means the all-inclusive story of Hepburn's life.
Chandler and/or her publisher claim that this book was the result of taped interviews with Hepburn conducted by Chandler at the home of film director George Cukor. The text of this book quotes Hepburn verbatim. All of this sounds great, but the accounts as put down in this book do not sound like the often interviewed Hepburn nor do they match up with things she has said in her own autobiography. There are some chronolgical inconsistencies that stand out like gaping holes to anyone familiar with Hepburn's career and personal life via other books written about her or by her.
What does seem apparent is that Chandler has patched together information from a variety of sources that have been out there for decades and has put her own spin on things. There is nothing new or interesting that is related in this book that hasn't been said before in a more cohesive way. For example, she has one scene where Hepburn rants on about what she needs to make brownies. Big deal. Most people who have more than a passing interest in Hepburn know that she liked making brownies, that she had a real aversion to dining anywhere except at her own home, that she wore Spencer Tracy's clothes. Elements like these try to warm up the reader and give the impression that Chandler was a Hepburn insider. The 'meaty' stuff included in the text such as the death of Hepburn's brother Tom(which is used as a continuing thread through the book)gets so personal that it is entirely inconsistent of someone so notoriously private.
Check out the other previous AMAZON reviewers who have given this book 1* ratings.
They've really nailed it regarding why no one should buy this book. ... Read more

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